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Centrum Silver Isn't Just for Seniors Anymore

By Patriots Blog Writer Doug Cutler Jr.
3/19/09


First, a word about Julius Peppers, Joey Galloway, and other aging veterans

In the immortal words of Roosevelt Colvin, we need to “Calm down.” So much of this off season has been dedicated to lusting after aging veteran players in the hopes of catching lighting in a bottle in 2009 and scoring another Lombardi Trophy before it’s too late.

If Patriots Nation truly wants its team positioned for success it needs to overcome this infatuation with bringing in star players at, near, or over the age of 30 and on the back nine of their respective careers. All too often, we want our team to throw silly money at these veterans because we expect them to be the workhorses they were just a couple of years ago. The reality is most NFL players fortunate enough to still be playing at 30 know full well their bodies are not capable of the magic they performed at 27 or 28, let alone 24.

Julius Peppers is 29. What can we expect from him (regardless of where Peppers plays) in ’09? Given that he is still in his twenties, we can reasonably surmise that he can have a solid season if he wants to (and there’s no guarantee of this, either). His body is likely still able to perform at or near its peak, but unfortunately whatever team that signs him will be paying him for what he’s done, not for what he will do. The pay will be commensurate with experience, but not performance, and this is precisely the reason such signings are fraught with danger for NFL clubs. It’s the equivalent of having to cross a minefield with a blindfold and you’re the one who laid out the mines beforehand. You’re responsible for it, but you have no way of knowing how to get to the other side without destroying yourself in the process. To say nothing of the draft pick(s) you’d have to surrender for Peppers as well.

A much better use of salary-cap funds would be to re-sign Vince Wilfork (whose wallet will be much fatter next season thanks to the Washington Redskins’ ridiculous contract with Albert Haynesworth). At 27, Wilfork still has another three years before hitting the big three zero. That's enough time to warrant the big bucks.

If you’re going to sign an aging veteran, the way to do it is with short term contracts for little money. Incentive-laden contracts are good, too. This is where the Joey Galloway signing comes into play. It’s a one year deal and probably for next-to-nothing in salary and Galloway still has to compete for a roster spot. If he doesn’t make it, the spot goes to someone else who most assuredly will be much younger and more capable. In short, there is little or no risk associated with the deal.

In the end, the Patriots would be much better off using their slew of high draft picks to stock up on young talent. Mathematically speaking, your chances of hitting the jackpot are just as good (if not better) going this route and there will be much less investment in terms of money. You’d get quite a bit more than just one or two good seasons from the player(s), too.



You heard it here first

I am going to stick with this prediction right up until I am proven wrong. I still say Bill Belichick & Co. will trade two of their second round picks for a mid-to-late first round selection. That would give them two first round picks and one second. Still not a bad haul.



The one play I want to see this season:

Rodney Harrison knocking out Terrell Owens on a post pattern, the ball being deflected and returned for a defensive score. However, I can forego the defensive score if that’s asking too much.



Answer to last week’s question:

1976 AFC playoff game vs. The Oakland Raiders and the phantom call was “roughing the passer.” Karma indeed.

Question of the week:

During the 1985 season, the Patriots played the Chicago Bears twice. In those two games, five Patriots are listed as having scored against the vaunted 46 Defense. What was the total amount of points scored against Chicago that year and who were the five players to have a hand in those scores?

(Answer will be provided next week)

1 comment:

  1. I don't think Rodney will be around.....but I'll take Maryweather knocking the snot out of Owens! It should be fun......I still think it's now or never for another young stud linebacker in the draft. Good job Doug!

    ReplyDelete